We attended a new families' reception at my daughter's school last night. The headmaster was very excited and extremely dedicated--as headmasters tend to be--and he detailed all aspects of the school's mission and how it translates to expectations for the learning environment. The school "inspires and educates students to engage their hearts, minds and hands to cultivate their full individual and collective potential in the service of a greater good." The number one value at the school is not academic rigor; it is "character." He emphasized the belief that education without action and strong character is worth little more than the paper you receive as your diploma.
Although you could dismiss these words as rhetoric, I found them thought-provoking and motivating. I have been blessed with (and have thoroughly enjoyed) an excellent liberal arts education. I hold a Master's degree in International Development. I have lived in four countries in the past seven years and have visited more than a dozen. While I have always hoped and planned to be at home when my children are small, I acknowledge that those years are drawing to a close. Now that my girls have reached an age of greater independence, I'm starting to look outward and ponder where my next steps should be. "In the service of a greater good" seems an excellent starting point.
Where are your thoughts taking you this week?